Is it possible for chronic stress to cause gradual hair loss without major shedding?

I've noticed significant thinning of my hair over the past 9-12 months. I've had thyroid and endocrine issues but my blood work is all normal now. I've been under a lot of stress over the past year and am being treated for anxiety. My GP thinks stress has caused the hair thinning but I haven't noticed any major shedding and the thinning does not seem even. Is stress able to cause gradual thinning? I'm waiting to see a dermatologist but It may take a few months and this is adding to my anxiety.

Doctor Answers 4

Stress and hair loss

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Stress and anxiety certainly will not help any situation.  To put your mind at ease with respect to your hair, you may want to see a hair restoration physician for a consultation and microscopic evaluation.  The microscopic evaluation could show thinning hairs among normal thick, course hair- if that indeed is the case then androgenic alopecia is a possibility.   There are medications that will help slow down or stabilize the thinning. 

Beverly Hills Hair Restoration Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 34 reviews

Hair Loss Treatment Basics--Minoxidil with Progesterone and PRP

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Stress can be a factor. I'd suggest seeing a hair professional to discuss the best treatment options. A series of PRP with Progesterone injections done once a month for a few months may help with the thinning. 

Jason Emer, MD
Los Angeles Dermatologic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 207 reviews

Stress and hair loss

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Stress is know to cause hair loss in people who are prone to have it (genetic components, diseases such as low or high thyroid, etc..)

William Rassman, MD
Los Angeles Hair Restoration Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 29 reviews

Hair loss without shedding

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It's not typical for a person to have stress related hair shedding and not see the hair. The one main exception would be if there person washes his or her hair daily. In that case, it is possible that the hair coming out is not seen as easily. 

What is the most common reason for significant thinning without noticing shedding? Androgenetic alopecia.

Jeff Donovan, MD, PhD
Vancouver Dermatologist

These answers are for educational purposes and should not be relied upon as a substitute for medical advice you may receive from your physician. If you have a medical emergency, please call 911. These answers do not constitute or initiate a patient/doctor relationship.